One Sanjay Bharati and Gopal Sahu sustained injury on Monday night when militants of the ULFA[I] shot at them in Dilijan Tea Estate, Namrup. The duo were transferred at the Assam Medical College Hospital in Dibrugarh.
Taking up responsibility for the attack, Captain Arunodoy Asom – Deputy commander, Eastern Command & Assistant Publicity Secretary of ULFA [I] – told Times of Assam, “Our cadres on Monday evening went to Dilijan to collect fund. The collection drive is being carried out by the organisation for procurement of winter clothing for the cadres. However, when we asked them for the donation, Sanjay Bharati and Gopal Shah openly revolted and said that Pro-Talk ULFA leader Jiten Dutta has assured to protect them and they will not donate to the ULFA[I]. They also provoked the cadres by saying you can do whatever you want. In order to give them a lesson, the cadres who had the orders of the commanding authority, shot them in the leg and the abdomen, in order to injure them and not to kill.”
The ULFA[I] cadres also reportedly unmasked themselves and asked Bharati and Shah to reveal their identity.
“We are not asking for donation to buy cars or property. They are being asked to donate for some warm cloths needed for our cadres.” the ULFA[I] leader told Times of Assam.
Captain Arunodoy Asom also added, “But at the same time we reiterate that it is the sheer lack of cooperation and an absence of far sightedness on the part of certain business institutions established by Indians which has to be blamed for the occurrence of such unfortunate incidents. Time and again we have been calling upon these foreign economic migrants and Indian people who are continuing commercial activities in WESEA either to cooperate the liberation struggle of the sons of the soil or to quit Asom. Their defiance has forced us to these extremities and If they don’t change their behaviour paying duly to the interest of the liberation struggle, then their insane stubbornness is going to bring them hell out of this paradise of opportunities they are having to suck out like leeches our resources and economic potentiality for the future.”
It may be mentioned that, the electronic media in Assam tried to give ethnic colour to the attack and described it as an attack on Hindi speaking people. The ULFA[I], however, termed it as a baseless allegation and said that irrespective of caste, community or creed, people are being asked by the organisation to donate for the cause of Assam.
On the other hand, talking about jailed General Secretary of ULFA, Anup Chetia – Captain Arunodoy Asom said, “The day Anup Chetia Sir officially confirm that he is joining the peace talks led by Arabinda Rajkhowa, we will officially appoint our General Secretary.”